Back to Journal
Posted in News & Updates

2018: A year in pictures

Jan 07, 2019

We want to take a moment to thank you and express our gratitude. Not only have you been supportive of our creative venture but more importantly supportive of the charities who are protecting the animals and natural world so selflessly.

This last year in particular has been hugely rewarding. As our team and audience grow, it is inspiring to see how partner organisations and indeed more of the general public are supporting the values of Under the Skin. So we want to take this opportunity to share some reflections of the past year, of what we have achieved and how you have supported our cause.

How will we remember 2018? For many, there’s an overwhelming sense that all is not right in the world. It feels like the fate of the planet is at a critical crossroads. Earth is our one and only home and there is every possibility that if we continue along this path, just like the northern white rhino, a wealth of species could slip into the darkness of extinction.

Simply, what happens next is in all of our hands. Everyone has the capacity to make positive change by making our voices heard. Our mission remains the same: to collectively shine a light on species in threat, and support those who are caring for the natural world in all its forms — from oceans to rainforests, from the largest African Elephants to the nearly invisible fairy Shrimp. After all, our future depends on all of them.

Thank you for being on this journey with us. We wish you a very happy New Year.

Ed & James

Co-founders & brothers

We created a unique screen print that pays tribute to Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino.

1. Remembering Sudan

In March we saw the tragic passing of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino. We created a unique screen print that pays tribute to this species bound for extinction, with 20% of proceeds going to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya who are caring for the last two remaining female rhinos.

2. Trump vs. Attenborough

We’ve had yet another year of Trump antics, climate change denial and general domination of headlines when there are so many pressing matters on the environment that need to be heard.

On the other hand, we saw yet another fantastic series by Sir David Attenborough’s team, Dynasties, which gave us an intimate insight into the lives and struggles of five species across the globe.

Trump vs. Attenborough. Illustration by Ed Harrison.

What’s more, Sir David spoke out as he represented the worlds people in addressing delegates of the UN climate change summit in November;

“Right now, we’re facing a manmade disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years; climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations, and the extinction of much of the natural world, is on the horizon.”

Attenborough’s message is clear — humanity needs to take immediate, bold action on a global scale if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, which will last for thousands of years, and in some cases (such as the extinction of plant and animal species) will be forever.

If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations, and the extinction of much of the natural world, is on the horizon.

Sir David Attenborough

3. The vanishing Vaquita

Time is running out for the smallest species of porpoise, the Vaquita. There are now only an estimated 12 of them left. That’s right, 12. This makes it the most endangered marine mammal in the world.

We’ve partnered with Sea Shepherd to create an interactive screen print to raise money to help save this species from falling into extinction (more on this below).

We’ve partnered with Sea Shepherd to create an interactive screen print to raise money to help save the most endangered marine mammal on the planet.

4. Experiencing life as a Sea Shepherd

Just before Christmas we returned from the Sea of Cortez, where we had the opportunity to work with the Sea Shepherd crew to retrieve the illegal gill nets that have been trapping the Vaquita porpoise and countless other marine species.

It was inspiring to experience first hand the essential marine conservation work the crew are carrying out on Operation Milagro, and we’ll be doing a full cover story soon.

We joined the Sea Shepherd crew on Operation Milagro where we witnessed them work day in day out, pulling illegal gill nets in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.

5. The Wallace Series

We finally launched The Wallace Series with our friends and collaborators at Another Escape. The series consists of six animals; the Bornean Orangutan, Yellow-Crested Cockatoo, Sun Bear, Forsten’s Tortoise, Sunda Pangolin and Borneo Pygmy Elephant.

We created a beautifully bound publication to accompany each piece of artwork. The book tells the story of the great British naturalist Alfred Wallace and gives an insight into adventures across the Malay Archipelago which led to his co-discovery of the theory of evolution alongside Darwin.

We've collaborated with our friends at Another Escape to create a beautifully bound publication that tells the story of the great British naturalist Alfred Wallace.

6. Earth Day talks

We were proud to be invited to Procter & Gamble to present a talk on Earth Day 2018. We chatted about the critical state of the planet and shared ideas on using sustainable design and business to help protect endangered species around the globe. We were delighted to hear P&G were one of 40 UK companies to sign up to the Plastic Pact — a huge step forward in tackling plastic pollution.

What’s next? Keep climbing the mountain.

We recently received an inspiring email of encouragement from a correspondent, who signed off with “keep on climbing the mountain”. This deeply resonated with us, as it is exactly what this project can feel like — tackling a huge, daunting, unclimbable mountain. There are so many species in decline with such little time. But just as in rock climbing, it’s all about breaking it up into small actions. After all, you can’t begin the climb without the little things first; lacing up your shoes, coiling your rope, chalking your hands, and climbing the faces pitch-by-pitch…

And so that’s precisely what we intend to do — mixing inks, illustrating animals, posting prints, giving talks, and spending any spare moments outside appreciating nature firsthand.

If you look closely, you can spot James in one of his recent escapades in the Scottish Highlands…
Written by
Under the Skin

Articles and content from the Under the Skin team.

Sign up to our newsletter

Read more articles from our contributing authors and follow the project progress by signing up to the Under the Skin newsletter.